Wednesday, March 08, 2006

When Close Friends Separate


I 've had a friendship that began back in 1984 that has just about played itself out. Its sad. Some of it stems from misunderstandings. A good part comes from words spoken that can't be taken back. My friends (friend & spouse) over the years embraced a style of relating that I can't fathom and I suppose they can't fathom me. In many ways we are alike. But he sees me as too spontaneous and I see him as critical and controlling. We simply don't understand each other. Recently I've attempted to win back some semblance of interaction but to no avail. In fact I now realize my attempts have been foolish.

I don't think the chasm is bridge-able. Two years ago he told me that he would sacrifice our friendship to accomplish certain goals. He tried to take back what he said but the situation today speaks louder than his apology. I thought for the past two years we were on different pages- now it seems like different stories of different books.

It is painful.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Reason and the Ethics of Jello

Reason is a good thing but incomplete. Therein lies the problem with modernity. The result of the Age of Reason (or modernity) is that radically opposing worldviews use the same criteria for processing the world around them. REASON didn't eclipse the philiosphies of ages past, it just built within them a foundational lens from which to look at things. So principles, foundations and fundementals were the guiding light of a variety of worldviews. Classic Liberals were fundementalist just as much as Conservative Christians (at least initially). They just had a different set of presuppositions.

Reason, of course, is valuable. But it is corrupt and flawed when it becomes the central vehicle with which to understand reality. Reason can be used with a high degree of persuasion to support two very different perspectives (ie. liberal diehards and the right; science and religion; a call for justice and acts of injustice). In fact any position can be rationalized with the use of reason. Any position, no matter how inhumane, can support a central premise, and deduce from it a variety of claims.

Culture today, "Street Post Moderns," have turned to relativity. Street Post Moderns are a bit different than academic post moderns. They live in a atmosphere charged with morphing perspectives. Its not a matter of true or false but of "whats true for you." Truth is relative to a persons perspective. While this type of thinking helps people in a pluralistic society get along, it lacks a consistent ethic. I call it the ethics of Jello (gelatin). The ethics of jello has some merit, the fruit imbedded in it, but it has way too much wiggle. Yes it can take any shape, but when the heat rises it melts down.

Unlike the ethics of jello I am convinced reality has elements that are solid and fixed. But unlike modernity I am convinced that the objective elements of truth are above and beyond reason. I believe in a supra rational perspective. It isn't relative to our perspective, but rather our perspective is shaped by our relationship to it. Reality has a relational component beyond reason and relativity. It is not foundational but it is relational. This relational aspect is beyond "we are therefore I am" but is rather "WAS, IS, WILL BE is therefore I am." Connection to WAS, IS, WILL BE is critical.

Justice and injustice can therefore be discerned. It flows from EXSITENCE. And injustice is wrong....always.

From Beringer Wine

Here's a letter from the customer service department concerning the debris
I found in a bottle of wine. They handled my concerns quickly -KUDOS to
Beringer. I guess I will continue buying their wine. And I appreciate the
gift certificate.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us, we are sorry to hear that
you had a recent bottle of our Chenin Blanc that was not to your
satisfaction. From your description, it sounds like the substance you
are referring to are what we call tartrates. Tartrates result from
tartaric acid, which occurs naturally in grapes and other foods. When
stored at cold temperatures for an extended period of time, the
tartrates can crystallize and form in clear flakes, slivers, or rocks.
This is not harmful in any way and should not affect the flavor of the

Poor storage conditions can contribute to faulty wine ever so quickly.
It is always important to know how to store your wine once it is home
and to pay attention at the stores to how they are storing the wine as
well. Optimal storing conditions are 58 degrees consistently without
the wine being exposed to sunlight, heat, or extreme cold.

I will be happy to send you a gift check so you can purchase a
replacement bottle on us. The gift check will arrive within 2-3 weeks.
Please contact me again should you feel that the above description does
not fit what you found in the bottle and we will have you send it to
our Quality Assurance lab for testing.

You can be assured that we are doing everything in our power to make
sure that you can purchase and consume our products with confidence and
that, as a valued customer, your input is extremely important to us.
are grateful for your past support of Beringer and hope that you
continue to support us in the future.


Ann Herron
Manager, Consumer Relations
Foster's Wine Estates - Americas
(707) 259-4735

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Long week

I decided to delete the post I put here. It was too pessmistic. I had a long week and spent some time reading BBC. Normally I tend toward optimism. The exception is when considering the attempts of governmental powers to manage history.

Managing history is my term for the reactions and counter actions, the strategies, exploitation, tactics, policies, and manipulation of events in the world by governments. I think it was Winston Churchill that stated that it is folly to expect a nation to act without entrenched self interest. There is no irony in that statement -- he said it while defending his decisions prior to WW2 and protecting his political grasp on Great Britain (sorry for no footnote here...I remember it from reading on of his books but I read too much and would be hard pressed to place it).

I often hear people, when talking about politics, state decisions, and actions, using the phrase the lessor of two evils. What is not stated is that the lesser of two evils is evil nonetheless.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

End of the World

I just watched a history channel show on predictive people. It mentioned Nostradamus and Edward Cayce among others. Its interesting to note that they all (like Muslims, Jews, and Christians) predict a sudden catastrophic period of time followed by the end of history. What was interesting was how diverse a group of people these predictors were. I was most interested in what the Mayans Indians predicted. They were experts with time- having a calendar equal to none. But they only calculated the calendar up to 2012. After that point they said a great darkness engulfed the world and further perdictions were useless.

Of course today the greatest prophets are the scientists. They warn of the impact of global warming, point to increased geologic events (earthquakes, volcanic activity), avain flu, storms of mass destruction, mass famine in Africa, economic collaspe, and the depletion of world oil. And of course there's the tension brought on by Danish political cartoons.

I don't know about the Mayans - I'd have a hard time accepting what a group of people who practice human sacrifice predict. But I must admit I'm not optimistic.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I'm not over it

I'm not over it. I think I'm going to write to Beringer. I'll let you know how (or if) they respond.


I like wine. I enjoy a nice merlot, a cabernet and a variety of other reds. Often I buy an inexpensive wine as a table wine.

This evening I sat down with my family - my wife cooked a salsa chicken. I opened a bottle of Beringers Chenin Blanc and discovered (after having a glass) what looked like little larva in the bottle- and yes in my glass.


I'm not really sure what it is. Turns out to be a hard substance rather than a sickly soft larva like subtance. Thank goodness for that--then again, WHAT IS THAT??!!! UGHHHH!

I guess I really can't recommend Beringers.

David Irving

The BBC is reporting on the trial of well known holcaust denier David Irving. Is this right? I mean one of the pillars of the west is the freedom of speech. And here is a western nation jailing someone for idiotic thinking.

Of course this is happening all while Isalmic mobs are burning embassys, protesting in the streets, etc. for the cartoons dipicting a religous figure and calling for the arrest of those involved in the famous Danish political cartoons.

Ah, the irony.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Good night

I am sitting here drinking a Heineken (actually I just finished it) wondering whether I should write or not. I am weary- but its good. I had a busy day and accomplished much. But its late and I just want to go to bed...

The pull to bed is has won. Good night all.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I feel

I feel therefore I am.
I feel strongly that Descartes got it wrong. He worked hard at doubting. He attempted to doubt all that he could. But he could not doubt reason. His thought became the proof of his existence. Thought was a reality that gave substance to who he was. His sense of self identity flows from it.

I am no Descartes expert. But I wonder in his reasoning if he stopped feeling. Did he doubt feeling? When he worded Cogito ergo sum was there a sense of accomplishment, a sense of exhiliration? If fact why did he write about it at all. As we know writers write for others (despite their disclaimers). Did it fulfill the felt need for recognition? In all his doubting perhaps he reasoned that thought was all and he was able to put it into a catchy, phrase. I bet he felt pretty good about that.

I feel therefore I am.
Its not that I doubt reason. But I don't trust it. I've been burned by reason. I've laughed at the constant proofs and disproofs of science. I've seen reasonable arguments used to rationalize the worst kinds of injustice. And I love physics. It has a beauty, a super-rationality that is beyond reason. Quantum mechanics feels right though my mind rebels against it.

I suspect our affections a much larger role in our sense of self identity. I feel. I have affections. I weep, laugh, moan, cry, despair, grieve, smile, enjoy, take pleasure, sense, and generally have emotions in a great and endless variety and intensity. These emotions play a huge role in being. Even feeling bad is better than not feeling at all. I have no doubt than even Descartes was impelled and motivated by more te reason. I cannot claim to know the secrets of his heart. But I know there were secrets there. He was moved not just by reason, but by something else as well.

I feel therefore I am.
I even feel God (I think).